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New Blooms Event

Canada: Preparing growers for Mother’s Day while drinking lavender cocktails

“We were approached by Dümmen Orange about four years ago, as they wanted to do trials with new varieties in the Western part of Canada. Now we host the annual New Blooms Event for commercial greenhouse growers and suppliers, where they get to see which varieties are performing well in our climate and interact with other industry professionals,” says Michiel Verheul, owner of High Q Greenhouses in Alberta, Canada. Verheul shares how the trials can help growers prepare for Mother’s Day, how they expanded to Saskatchewan two years ago, and their goal to help new and inexperienced growers in a larger geographical area.

Preparing for Mother’s Day
The annual event, which occurred on July 15 this year, is a partnership between Dümmen Orange, High Q Greenhouses, and Deb’s Greenhouses. “Dümmen Orange provides us with the cuttings for the event, which we root, transplant and continue to grow for about eight weeks at High Q Greenhouses. This gives growers a good representation for growing around Canadian Mother’s Day and how large the flowers will be. If you start growing in March you will have grown the flowers for the same amount of time around Mother’s Day in May, which is when the Western Canadian demand for flowers experiences a strong peak. The day before the New Blooms Event, we transport the flowers to Deb’s Greenhouse where everyone gets to see them. Deb’s Greenhouse, owned by Debbie Foisy, is the perfect venue for this event.”

Educational talks and lavender cocktails
“This year, around 55 to 65 companies attended our event that day, which represents about a third of Alberta’s flower growers. Speakers at this year’s event included Chris Berg, Marketing Manager of Dümmen Orange; Robert Bett, President of Plant Haven International; John Bouw, a long term Alberta grower; and Dr. Mohyuddin Mirza, who is a longtime greenhouse researcher. This year, there was a mix of in person speakers and videos sent in by some speakers. Besides all the educational talks, the event is of course for everyone’s entertainment as well, as it is an opportunity for everyone to meet each other. Therefore, we serve a different New Blooms signature cocktail each year. For 2021 Chris Berg created a lavender cocktail called ‘Drink Like a Diva’ that a lot of attendees definitely enjoyed.” Verheul mentions that because of the success in Alberta, they started hosting the event in Saskatchewan as well. “There was a demand for another trials show in a different location, so people would not have to travel so far.”

Helping inexperienced growers
Verheul mentions that one of High Q Greenhouses’ goals is to help new and inexperienced businesses. “It is a lot easier in North America to start your own company than it is in parts of Europe. In The Netherlands, for example, you need to be officially registered and you need to have a diploma. As a result of this freedom in North America, we see that a lot of inexperienced people start growing plants for a business. I see it as my task to help them on their way to becoming successful companies. I can help them with plant combinations, greenhouse temperatures, and soils for example. We are in a very positive industry that produces products that give people joy, and it is important for us to help the industry wherever we can. Whether that is by helping new businesses, or by hosting the New Blooms Event.”

For more information:
High Q Greenhouses
Michiel Verheul

Deb’s Greenhouse
Debbie Foisy

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